Mind Matters: The Power of Distraction

6:46 PM

I began running in July of 2015. Flash forward four months, and I still do not enjoy it. Since I'm still running, there's a slight chance I may be a masochist. With a 5k behind me, an 8k next month, and a 10 mile race in the distance, I have a fair amount of running ahead of me. However, I am happy to report that I no longer "hate" running but now only dislike it.

My change of heart hasn't been a result of learning to love running, but rather it is the result of finding ways to distract myself from the boring and repetitive activity. Below I've listed a few things that make running more tolerable for me.

Music:

I have NEVER danced to "All I Do Is Win" while running on the treadmill at the gym. (Am I lying? Yes.) Music has this amazing ability to disconnect your mind from your body. With the right tunes, an okay workout can be transformed into a great workout.

Media:

I have NEVER started to laugh while watching a movie or listening to an audiobook while running on the treadmill at the gym. (Am I lying?  You betcha.) Sometimes, music gets boring. Switch it up by listening to an audiobook or, if working out at a gym, an interesting television show. If you're able to focus on something enjoyable, you'll decrease your ability to focus on the not so enjoyable activities. 

Change the Scenery:

Do you typically workout in the comfort of the indoors? Go outside! Let the fresh air fill your lungs as you walk, run, jump, flow, etc. Do you exclusively work out in the open air? Head indoors and experience the greatness that is people watching. I like switching between the two to keep things a little more interesting.

Community:

Whether going for a run with City Fit Girls or my super awesome trainer, I find I work so much harder when I'm working out with others. This is especially true if my trainer makes me do 20 burpees for every time I stop to walk. There's just something about engaging in a conversation that provides me with the ultimate diversion. 

As much as distractions can help you complete a boring or hard workout, be sure you don't lose yourself so much as to give up proper form, which can make you prone to injury. Always be aware of potential threats to your safety and the safety of others around you no matter where and how you choose to sweat.

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